From the Vice President for Student Affairs: Supporting our Students

November 8, 2021


Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

We wanted to let you know that students were sent the email below to inform them about their options should they be struggling in a class.  We are concerned about our students.  We had more students doing poorly at midterms than usual.  It has been hard for many to find their routines, give their full attention to their courses, balance multiple commitments in their lives, and generally recover from the impact of the pandemic.  They need us now more than ever. 

If you are aware that a student is struggling, spend some time with them to determine what might be most helpful.  Withdrawing from a class (or more than one class) may be a necessary option if a student cannot recover in the class before the end of the term. We want to help students make wise decisions, however, before they give up on a class in which they have invested time, energy and money. 

For some students, an incomplete might make sense to allow them a little more time to finish their work.  Of course, that requires an instructor’s approval and you should direct the student to speak with their instructor if that is an option they’d like to explore further.

Some students might benefit from the help of the Center for Academic Success and Accessibility Services to get an extra boost, either in a specific class or more generally for academic coaching. 

And, some may just need someone to care; a person willing to listen to their struggles, help them evaluate their options and give them the confidence that they can do it. I would ask that you be that person if a student is willing to open up and share.

Frankly, I am worried about how many students might not earn the grades they desire this semester and will give up.  We can’t let that happen.  Earning a Southern degree will change their lives and we want them to realize that dream.  Thank you for helping our students to end their semester strong!


Tracy Tyree
Vice President for Student Affairs


Dear Southern Students,   

We know that it is has been an adjustment to return to campus or to begin your first semester after the impact of the pandemic last year.  It can be hard to find your routine, to commit the necessary time and energy to your classes, to learn to navigate your courses with the many other commitments on your plate.  If your semester is not going as well as you had hoped, you might be considering your options.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, Southern has returned to the permanent Pass/Fail and Withdrawal catalog policies and deadlines that were in place prior to March 2020 (COVID). To view the current Pass/Fail and Withdrawal deadlines, please visit the Academic Calendar.   

Pass/Fail Option: Deadline has passed (9/15 for full-term courses and 10/27 for second 8-week courses). 

Withdrawal Option: If you are not able to successfully complete a course this semester, you may decide to withdraw from it.  First, talk with your faculty member and be sure where you stand. This is a very difficult decision to make, as you will not receive a grade or credit for the course (a “W” will be recorded next to the course on your transcript). Before deciding to withdraw from a course, it is highly recommended you speak with your Assigned Advisor or schedule a Same-Day Advising Meeting to chat with an AAC Advisor, as withdrawing may impact your graduation timeline and/or financial aid.   

  • W Deadline for Full-Term Courses: Wednesday, 11/17 
  • W Deadline for Second 8-Week Courses: Wednesday, 12/1 

Incomplete Option: After discussing your progress towards course completion with your instructor, and if the instructor has determined that you have a valid reason for not meeting a particular requirement prior to the end of the semester, you may request an Incomplete Contract to allow you more time to successfully complete the course.   

Please reach out if you need help or if you have questions about any of these options:

There are many people who want you to succeed and are available to help you in whatever way you might need it.  But, we can help you if you don’t let us know.


Academic Advising